Cut to the Crashdown's festooned interior to find the usual crew -- Liz "No Place Like Drone For The Holidays" Parker, Maria "Santa's Little Yelper" DeLuca, Isabel "Grinch, Stealing" Evans and Jesse "When You Pine For The Sunshine Of A Friendly Gays" Ramirez -- sitting at a table a fair distance from the counter. The counter, you say? Why, at the counter sits a young boy staring into a small and ornately decorated tree, as the woman next to him communicates a decisively "you-don't-have-to-like-him-if-you-want-you-know-he-also-drove-my-husband-away-and-destroyed-my-marriage-you-know-that-don't-you-don't-you-don't-you" body language before the lips even have a chance to say so. Meanwhile, back at the table, Isabel maniacally outlines a plan for the Christmas dÃ©cor in her home, and Michael breezes past her and mumbles, "All hail the Christmas Nazi." And I do hope you all saw last year's Christmas abomination for a deeper understanding of that line. Because I'm not explaining it again. Maybe when I have more time. Maybe on a day when absolutely nothing is going on. New Year's Day, for example? No, no. There's something going on that day, after all. What on earth is it, again? Blah. During all of this, Max sits down across from Liz, and she gazes at him all adoringly and coos, "I love that you just walked in here." Yeah, my man really knows how to...enter a...diner...or something. Michael and Maria share an awkward exchange of "Hey" and then "Hey," and Maria begs out of plans with Michael because she needs space. Which is news to you all, I'm sure.
The aforementioned tree-staring youth at the counter turns from the booth and begins to glare at Max. Max, a glee in his voice so great I fear that he might break into song, asks for confirmation: "Is that kid staring at me?" What kid? That kid. Hey, Max, are those three ships in your pocket, or are you just happy for the attention? Whatever. Don't answer that. Isabel and Michael share a brief spat that reminds us that Isabel is a bitch who micromanages Christmas, but Isabel wins when she reminds people that she found her calling in volunteering, "helping the elderly, children, the less fortunate find joy and happiness during the holidays." Maria thinks that sounds like a great idea (whereas I think kids have snotty noses and also I think old people mostly smell like Lipton's onion soup mix, so that's America for you), one that would get her mind off of "other situations." Liz agrees that she would like to help out as well, and Isabel informs her new lackeys to meet her "at the park after work." What a junior high directive. Me. You. The bridge. Three o'clock. This is so cool. I think Isabel is finally going to kick their asses.